An Entrepreneur in the Making


Before he became the legend that he is today, this man was struggling to make ends meet. In 1919, while working for a newspaper, he was fired by the newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” In January 1920, he formed a short-lived company with another cartoonist. However, following a rough start, he left temporarily to earn money at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. He was soon joined by Iwerks, who were not able to run their business alone. Later, though he acquired his own studio which was successful, studio profits were insufficient to cover the high salaries paid to employees. The studio became loaded with debt and wound up bankrupt. After that, he decided to set up a studio in the movie industry’s capital city, Hollywood, California.


He created Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald, which was one of his first huge successes in the cartooning business. At that time, he was only receiving a 20 percent cut on his films and was ready to negotiate for higher since he was barely earning. He received another setback when his producer stole the character, and also stole his animation crew by negotiating contracts with them. His producer thought he would cave and work with the mere 20% he was paid.

While most people would pack their bags and return home crying, or work for minimum wages, this dauntless young man went on to create his most successful cartoon character EVER – Mickey Mouse. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this amazing person is none other than the entrepreneur, cartoonist, animator, voice actor, and film producer Walt Disney. Reportedly, he was also told that Mickey Mouse would not work since a huge mouse on the screen would terrify women. Well, it seems that women were not scared, for this mouse has continued to share his story on screens all over the world, even today.

He did not let a string of failures overcome him, standing strong even through his toughest times. There must not be a single person who does not know Disney, or hasn’t heard the name “Disney”. The newspaper editor who fired him for “lack of imagination and no good ideas” must be rolling in his grave right now!


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